Blog Tour: Interview with Darla from Ashfall by Mike Mullin

Welcome to the 1st stop in Mike Mullin's Ashfall Blog Tour hosted by Teen Book Scene. Today's stop will be a Interview with Darla from the book. 

Mike Mullin Links: Website  / Facebook / Twitter / Blog

Author Bio: Mike Mullin’s first job was scraping the gum off the undersides of desks at his high school. From there, things went steadily downhill. He almost got fired by the owner of a bookstore due to his poor taste in earrings. He worked at a place that showed slides of poopy diapers during lunch (it did cut down on the cafeteria budget). The hazing process at the next company included eating live termites raised by the resident entomologist, so that didn’t last long either. For a while Mike juggled bottles at a wine shop, sometimes to disastrous effect. Oh, and then there was the job where swarms of wasps occasionally tried to chase him off ladders. So he’s really hoping this writing thing works out. 

Mike holds a black belt in Songahm Taekwondo. He lives in Indianapolis, Indiana with his wife and her three cats. ASHFALL is his first novel.

Welcome Darla to OUaT,

OUaT: Darla before the eruption what did you like to do in your past time?

Darla: I built a potato gun a few years ago. That thing was wicked! It worked about like this one, although I’d never decorate mine with a bunch of lame stripes:

I wonder if I could build one now? To throw some kind of improvised hand grenade? If I couldn’t get any hair spray, maybe I could aerosolize gasoline somehow. . . .

OUaT: Um, Darla. Wait, the interview’s not over. That was just the first question!

Darla: Oh. Sorry. I’ll figure it out later.

OUaT: Tell us a little about yourself, that we might not know from the book.

Darla: My dad gave me a dollhouse he built himself when I was four or five. I used to love playing with that thing. It was really nice. Two stories, and the whole front opened up. He’d build more furniture for it and give me a new piece almost every birthday and Christmas.

I quit playing with it when I was nine. I’d started spending a lot of time helping Dad build stuff for the farm. Real stuff, you know? Tillers, sheds, and fences. And when I built the potato cannon, well, I needed a target. To test it out on. Dad wasn’t mad or anything. He acted like it was cool. But I saw him crying later. It took me a whole month to rebuild that stupid dollhouse.

OUaT: What was the 1st thing that crossed your mind when the eruption?

Darla: I knew something bad was on the way. That Friday afternoon, I was out in the barn putting in some rabbit cages. I got a great deal on them from Bill Hendershot at the Iowa State Fair—he’d quit raising rabbits, and the cages were almost new.

Anyway, I had the radio on, so I heard about the earthquake swarms leading up to the eruption. When it blew, all communication with the area around Yellowstone went out, but satellites showed what was happening, and they reported it on the radio. Nobody seemed to know how far the ash would go, though. And nobody warned us about the noise. I figured that out on my own, grabbed the noise cancelling headphones my dad and I used to wear when we worked with saws and stuff, and ran to the house to get Mom.

I wasn’t some dumb kid who played computer games while the world blew up around me.

OUaT: Name 3 items you can't be without?

Darla: Before the eruption, I could have given you a whole list. A Leatherman tool. My best pair of well-broken in boots. Stuff like that.

Now I know that there isn’t any such thing as items I can’t be without. Just people.

OUaT: If you could write a book, what would the title be?

Darla: I wish I’d written Protecting Your Livestock for Silicosis. Or Easy, Do-it-yourself Farm Defense Techniques. Would have saved me a lot of trouble after the volcano erupted. As it was, we had to learn all that stuff the hard way.

OUaT: Do you have a favorite book you like to recommend to us?

Darla: Yes, Dairy Queen by Catherine Murdock. I could really relate to what D.J. was going through, you know? If I’d had more time, I would have liked to have tried out for linebacker, like she did. Creaming guys on the football field would be fun.

I gotta go now. The corn isn’t going to dig itself up, you know.

Ashfall #1
Author: Mike Mullin
Reading Level: YA
Release Date: October 11th 2011
Available: Amazon / Barnes & Noble  / Indiebound

Summary: (from goodreads) Under the bubbling hot springs and geysers of Yellowstone National Park is a supervolcano. Most people don't know it's there. The caldera is so large that it can only be seen from a plane or satellite. It just could be overdue for an eruption, which would change the landscape and climate of our planet.

Ashfall is the story of Alex, a teenage boy left alone for the weekend while his parents visit relatives. When the Yellowstone supervolcano erupts unexpectedly, Alex is determined to reach his parents. He must travel over a hundred miles in a landscape transformed by a foot of ash and the destruction of every modern convenience that he has ever known, and through a new world in which disaster has brought out both the best and worst in people desperate for food, water, and warmth. With a combination of nonstop action, a little romance, and very real science, this is a story that is difficult to stop reading and even more difficult to forget.

Thank you to Darla for stopping by today and answering some questions.  Now here comes the fun part Author Mike Mullin will be awarding 4 hardbacks of Ashfall 1st editions during the blog tour. Mike will choose a random commentator each week from all the stops. So make sure to leave a comment in every single stop on the tour if you like to be entered to win. The more you comment the higher your chance at winning. Those 4 hardcovers will be for US and CA residents only. Mike will also award one international winner. Make sure if you are international to state that in your comments, and enter only if the book depository delivers to your country.

You can follow the full blog tour HERE over at Teen Book Scene. 


  1. Can't wait to read this! kharmatiuk(at)gmail(dot)com

  2. I like the interview. This looks like a good one! I can't wait for a chance to read it!


  3. Congratulations on the release of Ashfall, Mike! So happy for you!!! I'll be grabbing my copy tomorrow at the bookstore...can't wait! :)

  4. Great interview! I just got a hold of this ARC and I'm very eager to get it started. :)

    Xpresso Reads

  5. Mary D
    zenrei57 (at) hotmail dot com

    I'm really impressed with the story idea for Ashfall - it's both dystopian AND original!! And scary plausible, too :O

    Congratulations, Mike on your amazing book & Hugs on tons of continued success!!

    PS - I've been *DROOLING* to read Ashfall so am crossing my fingers, toes and eyeballz for luck :D

  6. I just adore this type of novel. The dystopian/post- apocalyptic. My favorite for sure. I can't wait to get my hands on a copy of this :)

    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

  7. Question for Darla- What would your dream date be? Has your dream date changed since the eruption?

  8. Darla sounds awesome; the kind of girl you want around when things start getting tough.

    Poor, poor dollhouse. :( Great interview!

    candicerjames [at] gmail [dot] com


    I loved the character interview. Always insightful I feel & loads of fun.


  10. This was my favorite book of the year so I'd love a signed finished copy!!!

  11. Ashfall was the best book i have ever read. I don't know if i can wait for Ashen Winter!

  12. I'm hard at work on ASHEN WINTER. I've finished it four times now. If I haven't been on social media and the blog tour as much, it's because I'm finishing up yet another draft--I want it to be even better than ASHFALL if possible.


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